A group of social investment organisations have called for the government to extend the deadline for applications to its Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
The coalition of social investors, including Big Society Capital, the Social Investment Business and Access, the Foundation for Social Investment, have asked the government to provide an extra six weeks for charities and social enterprises to apply for funds from the scheme beyond the 30 September deadline.
The investors say many third sector organisations have delayed asking for loans from the CBILS because they have put in applications for grants from other sources.
But many will not know the outcome of those grant applications until after next week’s deadline, meaning it would be too late to access CBILS funds if their grant requests fail.
Stephen Muers, interim chief executive of Big Society Capital, said: “The uncertainty in the economy and among communities that gave rise to CBILS still remains.
“It’s a double hit for charities and social enterprises. Uniquely, they face not just dramatic falls in income but, because of the pandemic, they have also seen surges in demand for their services.
“Research among social enterprises has shown that a quarter have cash flow to allow operations for three months or less, with one in ten UK charities expecting to cease operating by December. These are dire times for social enterprises.
“We are asking the government to extend the deadline for applications by just over a month so the third sector can benefit. For many, Covid-19 is an existential threat and CBILs would provide a much-needed lifeline.”